Victor Hedman is taking full responsibility for his role in the Tampa Bay Lightning's shocking first-round exit despite battling injury.
The 28-year-old blue-liner suited up for the first two contests of his team's series against the Columbus Blue Jackets and played significant minutes in both, logging 25:18 in Game 1 and 21:10 in Game 2. Despite the valiant effort, Hedman was unable to continue past those tilts.
"I was cleared to play in the first two games but I just wasn't good enough to keep going," the 6-foot-6 rearguard told reporters at the team's exit interviews Monday.
Hedman missed the final four games of the regular season with an upper-body injury after colliding awkwardly with Washington Capitals forward Carl Hagelin on March 30. Hedman said he was dealing with an upper-body ailment during the playoffs but added it wasn't related to that regular-season issue.